To kick off our new “Live-Work Life” series — which highlights the many innovative ways our most forward-thinking owners and residents reimagine their live-work spaces at Thirty Four Fifty West — we are excited to introduce the amazing Dr. Lois Lee.
The Founder and President of Children of The Night, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and providing crucial resources to child sex trafficking victims, Dr. Lois recently transformed two residences at Thirty Four Fifty West to realize the headquarters of her dreams, complete with light-filled, open-concept spaces that allow for enhanced flexibility — both for staff and young sex trafficking victims.
We sat down with Dr. Lois Lee to learn more about her incredible organization and just how she reimagined two live-work spaces at Thirty Four Fifty West to create the ultimate office environment for Children of the Night.
Can you tell us a bit about your non-profit, Children of the Night?
I founded Children of the Night in 1979, and it’s the first child sex trafficking program in North America. Since its onset, we have rescued, stabilized and educated over 11,000 children who were forced to prostitute for food to eat and a place to sleep.
Throughout the years, Children of the Night has gained a reputation as one of the most prominent and successful organizations in the nation addressing the needs of America’s sex-trafficked children. Diplomats come from all over the world to observe our work, which includes many European and Southeast Asian countries, as well as Japan, Romania, Nepal, Africa, India, Mexico and Canada. Since our inception, all Children of the Night programs have been exclusively funded by private donors.
You did a tremendous job combining two residences at Thirty Four Fifty West. Can you tell us a little bit about how and when you use the spaces?
My HQ at Thirty Four Fifty West is dedicated for office use. I have east coast clients so I first start my day at home around 6am, then arrive at Thirty Four Fifty West around 10 or 10:30am and stay until around 6 or 6:30pm.
How were you able to achieve your goals to make Thirty Four Fifty West your HQ for Children of the Night?
Having a nonprofit that’s been around for 41 years, it was important for me to have an office headquarters that had a hip, youthful energy relevant to today’s workforce. By purchasing and combining two spaces at Thirty Four Fifty West, I was able to accommodate modern, spacious and comfortable workstations for my staff and allow for effortless management.
Thus, I was able to create varying work environments to satisfy our team members’ every need, from nationwide case management to online tutoring for young sex trafficking victims.
Can you tell us more about what you accomplish from your headquarters each day?
From Thirty Four Fifty West, we have have developed an effective model of case management and education combining advanced internet technology and mobilized social services, which has increased our capacity to serve young sex trafficking victims by 90 percent.
From our headquarters, Children of the Night Case Managers provide children 24-hour services, 7 days a week. Whether they need rescue from pimps, medical services, public health insurance, social security/disability benefits, maternity housing, drug program placement, domestic violence shelter, emergency transportation, mental health services, psychiatric evaluations, access to psychotropic medications, advocacy with the courts, social workers, probation officers, resume preparation, job placement assistance, access to vocational or trade schools or community colleges, applications for FAFSA (federally funded financial aid) — we are ready and willing to help.
Our FREE tutoring through Zoom tutors sex trafficking victims so they may obtain their high school equivalency — a vital first step in escaping the streets. The high school equivalency enables them to enter the military, work in support positions in medicine or law or attend vocational/trade school or community college.
What’s your favorite thing about working from Thirty Four Fifty West?
My favorite thing about Thirty Four Fifty West is the feeling of security (and not having to pay for my own security). This includes security staff, fencing, not worrying about my packages being stolen, onsite maintenance. I also have great neighbors — many who are very creative, so my creative resources are just next door.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at Thirty Four Fifty West?
My favorite thing to do when I leave work is to exercise. I love to swim in the summer, use my Peloton and/or do strength training.
If you could only eat at three restaurants in the local area, where would you go?
If you could choose one place to visit right now, where would you go?
Singapore or New York.
To learn more about Children of the Night, please visit the organization’s website here.